Sometimes it can be the unkind words of strangers that cut the deepest, especially when you’re in the spotlight. Many celebrities give us unprecedented access into their lives through social posts and images, allowing us to taste the sweet nectar of fame and fortune (albeit from a distance). The downside, though, is that some people get too addicted to the sugar, and social media becomes a double-edged sword of online bullying, hate and harassment.
It’s no wonder that these stars have spoken out about the darkness that lurks behind Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — and why they’ve signed off for good (or, at least, for now).
Jennifer Love Hewitt
“I think our world is going through a lot. I would say for my generation, specifically, social media has really been terrible. It does scare me when you see how exposed these young boys and young girls are. They are not aware of the news. I think it’s dangerous for sure. I don’t think people are getting the right information sometimes,” she said in the Los Angeles Times.
The former Disney Channel star has pointed out that she often deletes Instagram from her phone. Speaking to the New York Times, she said, “You can’t avoid it sometimes. I delete the app from my phone at least once a week. You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, ‘You’re ugly.’ It’s like they want to cut your soul. Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing — even if it’s just physical."
“Do people on Twitter ever get tired of being so negative and disrespectful to literally everyone and everything? Are they really that miserable?” she wrote in a series of messages that she posted to her Instagram Story. “There’s hate everywhere, but especially on Twitter. It’s like a cesspool for evil 15-year-olds who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and have nothing better to do,” she continued. “Taking a break from that toxic site and the people on it who feel the need to constantly attack me, my cast mates, my relationship, and Riverdale.”
Days later, Lili took to her Instagram once again to respond to anyone who might have something to say about her stepping away from the app. “Unless you’re personally experiencing it, you could never understand how it feels to have thousands of people spewing hate at you constantly. I am not taking a break from Twitter because of one person’s opinion. As a whole that site is not good for my mental health, and it isn’t benefitting me anymore. THAT is why I’m taking a break. And before you think about saying something ignorant like ‘she can’t handle criticism,’ just try to imagine thousands of people sending you hateful, critical messages all day long, as if their opinion on your life matters,” Lili shared. “Then ask yourself if you think being on Twitter would be a ‘healthy’ choice at that point. I feel stupid for even having to explain myself, but there’s too much ignorance and negativity out there to not say something. That’s just who I am.”
Kelly Marie Tran
“Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of colour already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories."
In the past, Margot has said the following of another celeb she respects: "I like the choices Cate Blanchett has made. She's not someone who's always in the tabloids. Her personal life remains personal and that's something I want to strive towards."
“You know what’s so funny? I’m not on social media. I post, but I haven’t had Twitter on my phone for three years,” she explained. “I do it to protect my energy. I intensely just want to live the best life that I can and be the best artist I can be. I can’t do that if I care about what people think. I can’t do that if I’m trying to please.”
Ocasio-Cortez prefaced her comments by stating she had cut back on her personal Facebook, account even though she still maintains campaign accounts while connecting with her followers mainly on Twitter and Instagram, advising against the ill effects of social media.
“I personally gave up Facebook, which was kind of a big deal because I started my campaign on Facebook. And Facebook was my primary digital organizing tool for a very long time. I gave up on it,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “I’ve started to kind of impose little rules on myself,” she added. “Like every once in a while, you’ll see me hop on Twitter on the weekends, but for the most part, I take consumption of content — when it comes to consumption and reading — I take the weekends off.”
"I've been racially cyberbullied with tweets and pictures so horrific and racially charged that I can't subject myself any longer to the hate,” wrote the “Motivation” singer. "I'm not the first black female celebrity to deal with this, and I'm sure I won't be the last. Hiding behind a computer and putting people down, especially for the colour of their skin doesn't make you cool; it makes you a coward.”
“I’ve had such an amazing ride over the last five years, but I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes, so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed,” he posted on Facebook.
The best part of Sheeran stepping away from social media was his album release upon his return. Hence, why he is one of the richest people under 35.
Millie Bobby Brown
“[Social media is] kind of like cotton candy: It looks so appealing, and you just can’t resist getting in there, and then you just end up with sticky fingers, and it lasted an instant… There’s an anonymity that makes people feel safe to participate in hatefulness. I like a good old-fashioned fistfight if people are pissed off at each other. I just feel like if you’re really mad and want to have a fight, then put your dukes up.” she said.
Check out more of Roberts in this behind the scenes: amazing celebrity stylists series.
“My image, in my mind, is just to disappear. I just want people to see the work that I’m proud of. I feel like you let people touch you when you have Instagram or Twitter, and I don’t want to be touched all the time. I’m not going to do it — ever.”
At the very least, Kunis' hair game is on point in our lineup of the most drastic celebrity haircuts.
“It’s not invalid; it’s a new language… But you also become addicted to that hit by yourself and with yourself, every seven minutes or so, and you end up wasting so much time just validating something very superficial in yourself. It has definitely changed us.”
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